Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good Advice for Christian Living

May I be no man's enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good. May I wish for all men's happiness and envy none.
May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends. May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent. May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another. May I never fail a friend who is in danger.
When visiting those in grief may I be able by gentle and healing words to soften their pain. May I respect myself. May I always keep tame that which rages within me. May I accustom myself to gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances.
May I never discuss who is wicked and what things he has done, but know good men and follow in their footsteps. (Eusibius, 3rd century Church father).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Servants of Christ the King Parish: closed @28 yrs. young

Our Charismatic Parish has closed & our Charismatic pastor is gone he had been with us for over 4 years. I sat through the homily of our new Pastor today-mourning or moaning9?) He was sharing his loss of what has been familiar to him in the past 30 yrs. at the tail end or our Diocese. I couldn't help but reflect upon our losses, and I include the people of our parish that was over the past 28yrs. Our losses, "let me count the ways", kept running through my spirit.

1. Out last pastor who was baptized in the Spirit as he came to be our Pastor, on the very 1st day, who came into a more personal relationship with God, was used in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and developed a life in the Holy Spirit, renewed.

2. Prophetic word gifts that came freely & flowing after reception of Holy Communion at different times,which gave direction, consolation and peace, words of comfort, and words of correction.

3. Praise and worship music, spontaneous praise, unity of worship and deeper worship over the years. Gifts of music from three music groups that led praise and worship, mixtures of young children learning to sing the Psalm responses, confidence in singing in front of the congregation,solos. A men's music group that led us into deep worship and praise.

4. Our Liturgy, full of the presence of God, His nearness so tangible.

5. Gifts of Service from so many in music, Cross-bearers, Candle-bearers, altar servers, lectors, and Extra-ordinary Ministers of Communion and Offertory gift-bearers of families taking turns doing this service. Service to our handicapped parishioners, and homebound at times. Taking meals to new-mothers & their families.

6. Monthly Socials with refreshments of various beverages, bagels, and doughnuts, times of fellowships, families volunteering together to serve the rest of the parishioners during the Social. Times of getting to know one another and meeting any new parishioners. Times of gathering for cake and punch, with families whose members celebrated the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation each year.

7. Monthly Holy Hours with Confessions; monthly Prayer teams after Mass who would pray with others in need with many various concerns, healings.

8. Visiting Priests to say Mass when our Pastor had to be away, or other priests con-celebrating, joining in with the Praise and Worship, to bring honor & glory to God.

9. Our Yearly Parish Picnic, praying together, eating together, kids enjoying activities such as swimming, volleyball, the older men & younger men playing basketball together. The other adults socializing, family members from out of town reconnecting with others from the Parish.

10. Evangelizing new members in the RCIA program. Celebrating the Sacraments through Baptisms, 1st Holy Communion, Confirmations, Marriage and mourning the loss of dear friends through suffering and death.

11. Our life as Catholics and the Seasons of the Church, sharing our Lent, our Advent, celebrating the Birth of Our Lord, and our Holy Saturday Liturgy with gusto, exuberant Praise and being Easter People.

"O Lord, lead us, console us, it is a bitter & sweet time with the changes in our life, a new Pastor, new parishioners, and different ways in Liturgical celebration, little changes, annoying changes, fill us with understanding of your way."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Father Junipero Serra 1713-1784 Franciscan Missionary

Fr. Juniper0 Serra is still a well-known figure in California, USA. A virtual icon of the colonial era whose statue stands in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and the U.S. Capitol's Hall of Fame, the only Franciscan since 1913. Beatified in 1987, by Pope John Paul II. Two centuries after his death, he is still a pivotal figure in California history and the history of the American West.
Who was he? Father Serra was born in Petra on the isle of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea. His parents were farmers. In 1729, he became a Franciscan and enrolled in the prominent Franciscan in nearby Palma. He was ordained in 1737 and was 24 yrs. old. He taught Theology at the Franciscan University of Palma. He went onto a professorship at the Lullian University.
He went to Mexico to work in 1750, having joined the missionary College of San Fernando.
In 1767, the Jesuits were expelled by the Spanish Emperor from the Spanish colonies. This led to the government to ask the Franciscans to replace them as missionaries in Lower California. Father Serra was appointed head of these missions. The next year the Spanish governor explored and founded missions in upper California, the area of the now State of California. At age 50, weak and injured in one leg, the undaunting Father Serra founded in 1769 the Mission of San Diego and then founded 9 more Missions along the coast of California by the time of his death in 1784. He had nominally converted nearly 5000 Indians.
He held authority over the Franciscans, the army present there, and over the baptized Indians having increased the financial and military support for expansion of his missions.

"Blessed Father Junipero Serra, pray for the Americas, and in particular for California."